ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — On August 24, voters in St. Petersburg will decide who should be the next person to lead as mayor in the second-largest city in the Tampa Bay region. Currently, eight people are running for St. Pete’s top spot.
Those in the running include current city council members Robert Blackmon and Darden Rice, Pinellas County Commissioner Ken Welch, State Representative and former St. Pete City Council member Wengay Newton, Restauranteur Pete Boland who owns the Galley, Ship’s Hold and Mary Margaret’s Olde Irish Tavern, 20-year-old USF St. Petersburg student Michael Ingram, Stepping Stone Homeless Shelter founder Torry Nelson and Kenwood Organic Produce owner Marcile Powers.
ABC Action News is highlighting each candidate for mayor, including Marcile Powers.
As a 6th generation Floridian, Powers says she’s someone who is skilled in many areas—from art to operating her business Kenwood Organic Produce to participating in marches and protests for change.
“I just like to think of myself as a renaissance woman or a well-rounded woman,” she explained.
Upset by rising rent prices, she wants to create programs to help small businesses and residents afford to stay in St. Petersburg. “I propose we should have an insurance program so if anyone experiences a loss of income that they’re backed up for two months with their mortgage or rent no matter their income level,” she added.
She also wants to speed up the permitting process for home and business owners and set up a class that teaches residents how to own their own homes in exchange for down payment assistance.
She says the city of St. Petersburg needs someone who can bring new ideas to the table.
“Sometimes it’s good to have a fresh perspective because these people have been going to the same meetings over and over again with the same ideas,” she elaborated. “I feel like the same solutions are being repeated over and over again.”
Powers also wants to do more to combat climate change and pollution and says she credits her ability to listen, adapt and change as her top qualities.
“It’s important because I spend more time talking to people who normally don’t get heard by politicians,” she added.
If no candidate earns more than 50% of the vote on August 24, the top two will face off in November. The new mayor will be sworn in January 6 and serve a 4-year term.
To view Powers' candidate website, click here.